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2015-16 Jefferson Elementary Annual Report: Home

Jefferson Elementary 15-16 Annual Report



School year


Each year I like to do a theme to use with the tables, this was the theme this year, the tables had dog dishes with dog food cans in the middle to hold pencils and crayons. Each table had a dog breed or name, Huskies (a beautiful dog), Chocolate Lab (while in college I worked as a caregiver for a family with a son who had cerebral palsy, he had a chocolate lab that he named  Hershey, ever since then this has been one of my favorite breeds), Rotweiler (this breed was chosen as it was the breed in one of my favorite books Upchuck and Rotten Willy by Bill Wallace), Jack & Jasper (my step daughter's dogs' names), and Pigeon (my dog's name). The backs of the chairs had dog pictures with numbers for when laptops and I-pads were used, students had a seating chart.

Butterflies -Kdg grade


In first grade we made butterfly books. We learned parts of a butterfly, butterfly symmetry, and lifecycle of a butterfly. First we did parts of a butterfly using a PowerPoint presentation.

Then we went to Boowa and Kwala website to practice butterfly symmetry.


Then they practiced symmetry themselves.

Then we learned about the lifecycle of a butterfly. We used marshmellows for the egg, sour gummy worms for the caterpillar, tootsie rolls for the chrysalis, and bowtie pasta for the butterfly. Then we got to taste test 3 out of the 4 items! YUM!

Our butterfly book is finished!


Poetry - 1st grade


In first grade we talked a little about poetry. We did a list poem using Doreen Cronin books Diary of Spider, Fly, Worm.  One class had to do click clack moo cows that type so they learned about farms.

I found on Pinterest a Pass the Plate poem. so I thought to do something similar. We watched the fiction Ebook on Bookflix then listened to the non-fiction book. We brainstormed what we found out about that animal. They got a paper made a circle in the middle with the name of the animal in the middle, this would be the title of our poem. They wrote one word then passed the paper to the person on their left. Then they would write one word and then pass it. It is a hard concept on learning left. :) When they were finished then they turned it over and wrote their list poem.


Had fun with this project so will have to do this again. I would like to use paper plates next time!

Dictionary Skills - 2nd grade


In second grade we really worked hard on maps and dictionaries. Dictionaries we have worked on for the last three months. We started out putting things in alphabetical order then if the letter comes before, middle, or at end of the dictionary. Then what letter comes in between the two guide letters.   Then we used guide letters to see which word would come between. Then we used guide words to see which word would come in between.   Time was running out but was going to do first letter the same. Will make time next year.


We practiced using the dictionary using the guide words then did dictionary dude.



As a wrap up I found this website, Turtle, that had the students practicing using guide words and alphabetizing.


NE Animals - 4th grade


Fourth grade learned about 3 Nebraska animals. They got to choose their animals then research them on A-Z animals website. Then they made a Trifold as their final project. Next year would like to have them rate them or quiz each other.


Presidents - 5th grade


Fifth grade studied presidents, this is a project I do every year. They researched a president then made a "dollar bill" of their president. The money amount had to be the president's number but they could make it a million, thousands, billions, etc. They had to do a timeline,  find what the president made as a salary, and a fun fact, among other things. The websites they went to were; Mister G's World -, IPL (Internet Public Library) POTUS President of the United States -, C-span American Presidents Life Portraits -

Somehow I would like to get them to collaborate together and study multiple presidents. Maybe make a scavenger hunt or something. Maybe have stations and they add their input to the "bill". Will think this over the summer.

Right now I'm in the process of revamping it for next year.


When they were finished they quizzed each other on their presidents.


Digital passport


Common Sense Education, 3-6th used Digital Passport to learn about Internet Safety.

They did pretty good, everyone pretty much Aced the Mix N Mash (copyrighting) - giving credit to source, the share jumper (sharing their information online) they had a little difficult time. Not the so much sharing their information it was the jumping from cloud to cloud, that deducted points. Otherwise I liked the program.


Author visit - Brian Lies - Bats In the Library!

This year's author was Brian Lies, author and illustrator of Bats in the Library. Kids really enjoyed him! Told them that you don't totally need talent to do what you love. Just keep practicing and it will come. Do what you love and it's ok to be a little weird. :)


QR codes


Fifth and sixth grade did QR code stations. It was mostly for sixth grade because one of the codes was Norris Middle school library search so they can see what kind of books that school had going into seventh grade. They also went to a teen book review website to see what other books are coming out soon and what books others are reading so they can have an idea what other books are out there. They got to read the blurbs to spark their interest. Another code went to Scholastic author and illustrators videos from book fair videos, they listened to authors and illustrators talking about their book. A few others were for fun, Art for Kids Hub - just drawing creating pictures - good for listening and following directions! There is a panorama 360 website of the seven wonders of the world,



  Using our new interactive books AV2 Media Enhanced Books, fifth grade read a book to each other then went online to put in the code and password and learned more about what they read.

Speed book talk - 6th grade

Speed Book Talk!

Sixth grade did a Speed Book Talk. I choose 6 people to read a book then write a blurb about the book without giving away the ending. They could make a poster about their book and decorate it. After about a month and a half they presented their book to 2-3 of their peers. Their classmates got a sheet of paper and jotted down notes about the book, then they circled a thumbs up or down or a question mark of whether they wanted to read the book or not.

He went ALL OUT!

They all did a great job!

Information War - 5th grade

Information War!

My husband and I were sitting out on our deck one evening and I told him that I wanted the library go in a different direction. I'm bored and need a spark. So he mentioned why not have them look up Tesla and Edison and that these two had two different kinds of current. Each believed that their current should be used and each thought their current was the right current, Edison more so than Tesla as Tesla was willing to compromise. Anyway, that got us to brainstorming about an information war. I presented this to my fifth graders and they looked up as much information as they could about each inventor then write it on butcher paper. We had a really great discussion about it and what I wanted them to figure out was that both inventors were right. Today, we use both inventors' currents in our homes. Direct Current (Edison) is the lines going to homes and Alternating Current (Tesla) is the current used in homes that switches DC to AC. They did figure out that both currents are used today. Will definitely be figuring out how to do more with this next year. Would be fun to have a Quiet Information War, loosely based on Andrew Clements book No Talking, where they collaborate with a partner and quietly talk about what they discovered, then eventually get with other partners and quietly talk about their findings.

Google had just released a new search engine that is kid friendly, it eliminates all the ads and frivolous stuff. It's called Kiddle. It is awesome!

Who would win - 4th grade

Who Would Win?

This was a take off from the Information War. Fourth grade choose two animals, did research and compared and contrasted each. We based it off of the series by Jerry Pallotta Who Would Win. They found as much information as they could wrote it on the paper. Then we discussed that main items to look for for each animal. Like teeth, claws, height, weight. Finally, after doing all our research, like Jerry Pallotta, we did it the old fashion way and voted.

Even though Woolly Mammoth is extinct we thought that this would really be about the only animal that is the same size as an African Elephant, plus it is our state fossil.

  This class didn't get finish.

They got I-pads and laptops to check their information, they told me what they found and I wrote it down.

self checkout

Self Checkout

Since not having a para this year I thought I would show the students how to checkout their own books. I started with 3-6 but then tried it with second grade and found they did a great job. They became real experts and helped me out a lot. Next year though, I might have two monitors standing at each station to make sure everyone follows the steps. Had a couple glitches but nothing too major.

Poetry Stations

Poetry Stations

I wanted the students 3-6 to get their hands on poetry so I created Poetry stations. There was: Blackout poetry, Poetry Art, Haiku, Diamonte, Pass the plate poetry, Online Poetry, and reading poetry books. They seemed to like it and will continue it next year. Although for next year will show them how to do throughout the year.


Theme of the year & Winners!

New theme for Next Year!

My theme this year was dogs and I needed help with a theme for next year. So during first semester I had students put some suggestions in a bucket, then I picked out my four favorite. Candy, Monsters, Video Games and Food (not pictured, it didn't win anyway). I told them they will pick what they would like to see for next years theme then I would decorate the library that way. Videos came in a close second and monsters was third, they chose Candy as the winning theme. BUT! I kind of influenced them to candy because I told them that I didn't think I wanted candy to win but then one of my teachers here at school said why not make it a candyland theme. So I told them that if candy won then that's what I would do. I've already pinned several decorations to do over the summer and can't wait to see how this turns out!



And the winners are!

During the year these were my center pieces for the tables. It held crayons in the dish and pencils in the dog food can. I thought to myself what am I going to do with these at the end of the year? So I came up with the idea of cleaning them up and raffling them off. I went to the dollar tree to get all my items, new pencils, pens, mechanical pencils, eraser, crayons, some bubbles, candy and stickers for fun. The bag of old crayons (which I had an over abundance of) I told them they could melt and make new crayons. I put instructions of how to do that on a piece of paper and added it to the dish. About every student in the whole school was asking me if I could pick their name! They really loved it!

Pigeon memorial

Since one of my tables was of my dog Pigeon, through the year I told numerous funny stories of her and showed several pictures. On April 2, I had to put her down as she was 13 1/2 years old and had bladder cancer. She was my sidekick since she was 9 weeks old. I debated to tell my students because it's morbid, it's about death, but yet since she was one of the tables, I felt I owed it to them. All that week after her death, I told more stories and shared more of her life with them. It was very therapeutic for me. We discussed what we must do with our "furpals" when that time comes and how sometimes it's the best thing we can do for them.

Many wrote poems about her, made bookmarks, drew pictures, patted me on the back with tears in their eyes, they were all very sweet and sympathetic. Even made some of my sixth graders tear up! :) They will always remember her!

R.I.P Pigeon

New & Old!

New News!

Some NEW books!



AV2 Interactive books



Old News!


The boxes of discarded and reassigned books.



One of the older books I found. Ahhh Mister Rogers...

This and That

Door for Christmas break

  Interactive bulletin board "I Spy"


Tried something new to engage readers. Paired the biography with their books. It kind of worked. Biography never got checked out though but will try it again next year.


I had a "fun station" on my supply cart that when the students were finished checking out or done with their project they could do one of these, write their favorite book or "Like" a book.

Extra stuff...

Staff Appreciation Week! The halls were decorated!


Just like other schools we like to go big or go home!

Library Assistants


Last couple of months my principal suggested that I "hire" library assistants to help out in the library. So I began developing applications for this position and the Library Assistant program was born. I "tested" it out on some 5th graders as they will be sixth graders next year. It was an amazing experience! They have been the biggest helpers! They were very quick to put books back on the shelves, straighten things up, check in books, check student accounts for any outstanding books and track those people down to ask them where their books are at! A couple changes next year, at least two of my library assistants I am making my Head assistants as they have come in almost everyday to work. I hope to increase their responsibility next year. I didn't need them the last two days and one of them told it was PAINFUL not coming. Hopefully, future librarians!





They got a pizza party!

Star Wars preview



For the Star Wars movie I got the kids excited by having it the books of the month. Then I thought would be cool to have them watch the movie trailer. They loved it! It was difficult to keep the books on the shelves! After the movie seeing the movie, we talked about some of the shocking events in it. I felt like a kid again! :)

NETA 2016!


The following are things I would like to implement next year but not sure if some are feasible as of yet. These are my favorites from NETA.


This thing is AMAZING! It's a program you download onto the computer, use an LCD projector and a motion sensor. The sandbox has to be made or use whatever you have to hold the sand. It's just regular sand from a depot store. You manipulate the sand by creating hills, valleys and the program will make rivers in the valleys or snow on a mountain. You place your hand a few inches about and it thinks it's a cloud and will "rain" onto the sand. Students can study landforms and biomes.  It's topography... It's the water cycle... Would be a fun Makerspace...


This next one is called AWESOME time (Nuggets of Knowledge). Basically what it is is one hour a week the students can research whatever they want to learn more about. Gives them the control of creating. The find their research wherever they want, internet, in books, interviewing people, etc. They have the control to create something Awesome! Focuses on them and their interest.


   So very simple...


This would be fun where the students have to prove something to be false or True.


This one I believe is they have to put biography person to the test and find out what how that person was successful or were they a failure.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).